Teens and Online Shopping Safety
The gift of giving is just a click away in our hi-tech world. Online shopping continues to rise in popularity especially during the holiday season. Online shoppers in the United States will spend $54.47 billion this holiday season, up 16.8% from $46.63 billion last year, according to a new projection from eMarketer.
These days it’s not uncommon for teens to get into the action with many having access to a PayPal account or even their parent’s credit card to take advantage of the ease, convenience and deals found in cyberspace.
With that said, it’s important to take the lead in supervising and educating your kids to make responsible and safe online purchases. Here are some tips to steer them in the right direction:
Talk to your kids about online shopping: Your children may be old enough to do some shopping of their own online but make sure they understand the potential dangers involved. Require that they shop only when supervised by a responsible adult. Make sure they are responsible with their general internet use, before allowing them to shop online.
Shop Legitimate Sites: Only make purchases from sites that are encrypted or secured which should include a closed padlock on your web’s address bar or a URL address that begins with shttp or https. Also be aware of websites that are set up to look exactly like popular online retailers, although the URL will be a bit different. These sites are called, “phishing” sites and are set up to steal your information. Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox both have the ability to check for phishing websites.
Ignore pop-up messages while on shopping sites: Never click on a pop-up, make sure you set up your browser to block pop-up messages.
Know what you are buying and the terms of the deal: Make sure you are fully aware of refund policies and delivery dates. You don’t want to be stuck with something you can’t return and also don’t want to find out your friend or family member won’t be getting their gift on time.
Wi-Fi Hotspots: When it comes to accessing a laptop or smart phone in a public place, never share personal or financial information on a network that doesn’t require a password for online access. When using a phone in this environment, accessing a 3G/4G connection to directly gain access online is safer than opting to use an unsecured wireless network.
Keep Records Of Your Purchases: Keep track of your online transactions. It’s a good idea to archive important details such as online receipt, terms of the sale, and copies of email exchanges with the seller. Also make sure to review your credit card statements to make sure there aren’t any unauthorized charges. Any discrepancies should be reported to the bank in a timely manner.
Of course, these tips are a great reminder for all of us to follow to prevent putting our online identity and bank accounts at risk during this merry time of year.
SafetyWeb wishes you and your family a safe holiday online shopping experience!
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